Earth  ID: 11061

Fishbone Forest

In the rain forest of Rondonia in western Brazil, deforestation has cut a unique fishbone pattern into the landscape that is visible from space. Beginning in the 1970s, farmers and ranchers began to clear land that branched off one main road. As new roads penetrated deeper into the forest, the continued clearing ultimately left a number of orthogonal scars running through the lush canopy. The many forest edges created by this crosshatching fragment the ecosystem and negatively impact biodiversity, even more so than logging that clear-cuts habitat. By the 2000s, connected deforested areas created open spaces now used as farmland and pastures. The visualization shows images of the rain forest captured by USGS-NASA Landsat satellites from 1975 to 2012.

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Story Credits

Trent L. Schindler (USRA)
Alex Kekesi (Global Science and Technology, Inc.)
Horace Mitchell (NASA/GSFC)

Matthew R. Radcliff (USRA)

Lead Writer:
Aries Keck (ADNET Systems, Inc.)

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Landsat is a joint program of USGS and NASA

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